The Bravest of the Brave

The Bravest of the Brave

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by Shutta Crum, Tim Bowers
     
 

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Late one day I hurried home,
Stepping through the wood alone.
It was deep and dim; I could barely see.
But I thought brave thoughts to comfort me.

A Young Skunk heads home through the woods—alone. Or maybe not…
Could there be robbers, or pirates, or ghosts, or trappers in the woods? And is our hero brave enough to keep away?
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Overview

Late one day I hurried home,
Stepping through the wood alone.
It was deep and dim; I could barely see.
But I thought brave thoughts to comfort me.

A Young Skunk heads home through the woods—alone. Or maybe not…
Could there be robbers, or pirates, or ghosts, or trappers in the woods? And is our hero brave enough to keep away?
With bouncy rhymes, charming art, a subtle counting theme, and a surprise ending, this story will entertain and reassure any child who’s ever been afraid.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Counting books take many forms. This one presents the numbers one to ten along with a story in rhyme about a baby skunk making his way home through a dark wood. Scary creatures lurk in the shadows to be counted by the reader and chased away by the brave little creature, who eventually reaches the safety of his loving family. Although the three spider webs are rather difficult to see, numbered creatures turn up in order through the number six, when the story interrupts the counting for several pages. Picking up again, the numbers seven (times the skunk tells his tale) and nine (hugs given to him) are represented by actions not picturable or countable. The story ends with ten clearly twinkling stars in a midnight sky, but one wonders how much a young child who fears the dark will be comforted by a picture of the little skunk sleeping alone in the night woods with eyes peering through the foliage. In spite of cute little skunks and other animals, the book, bracketed by green-black endpapers, has a murky look. Unfortunately, the framework of a counting book, which because of the story is not even consistently followed, is not really appropriate to support the emotional weight of a tale about not being afraid of the dark. The result doesn't satisfy on either count. 2005, Knopf, Ages 3 to 6.
—Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Walking quickly and thinking "brave thoughts," a young skunk makes its way home through a dimly lit forest and is startled by different woodland creatures. The rhyming story turns out to be a counting book, starting with "1 masked face" (a raccoon hiding in the shadows) and ending with "10 stars [that] twinkle while I sleep." After being frightened by ghosts (owls), trappers (spiders), witches (porcupines), and pirates (flying squirrels), the skunk sees "6 strong arms" and gets ready to raise its tail in self-defense, but soon realizes that the limbs belong to family members. Now safe, the traveler relates the tale to an appreciative audience of animals. Bowers creates a pleasant-looking protagonist with a fluffy crown of white fur and a lush white tail. The woods are filled with velvet greens and chocolate browns, reassuring colors that show youngsters that the landscape might be dark, but certainly isn't scary. Pair this story with Lauren Thompson's Little Quack's Bedtime (S & S, 2005) for some tranquil sleepy-time fun.-Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A little skunk tromps through the deep, dark woods thinking brave thoughts to steel himself against (imagined) dangers. First he encounters one masked robber (a raccoon), then two howling ghosts (owls) and on up to the number six-when his family arrives. They take him to a party where he tells his tale seven times to all his woodland friends, the erstwhile spooky folk. After a dance with eight fireflies and nine big hugs, he sacks out under ten watchful stars. It might take practice to get through Crum's alliterative, rhymed text while reading aloud, but audiences-be they storytime or bedtime-will enjoy tiny skunk's bold story. Some might be slightly confused since the woodland friends never look menacing. Even in shadow the porcupines are too cute to be thought of as witches, and the flying squirrels are none too piratical. Bowen's pudgy, bead-eyed critters could be considered at odds with the text, but this makes the whole package more useful for explaining away irrational fears. (Picture book. 3-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375983795
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
04/27/2011
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
40
File size:
11 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Shutta Crum knows what it’s like to be brave while being really scared. She lives on a farm in Ann Arbor, MI, where she sometimes sees skunks.

Tim Bowers has illustrated numerous children’s books, including the popular Little Whistle series. He lives in Granville, OH.


From the Hardcover edition.

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